Tips to Housetrain an Older Puppy
10 July, 2012

As most dog owners know, it can take time to housetrain your puppy and sometimes there are ‘accidents’.  You come home from work and there is a puddle in the middle of your floor.  When this happens, it is usually just that, an accident.  However if this continues, you will need to retrain your puppy and/or find out the cause.

A dog doesn’t usually forget his training; it’s more likely that changes in the environment are the cause.  Retraining is part of the process, but only after the other issues have been considered. If you don’t take the time to determine what change has caused this problem, it will happen again later.

Below are some tips and/or recommends for a puppy and/or new older dog that has an accident in the house. 

Changes that Can Cause Accidents

1.        Medical Problems – Have you puppy checked for any medical problems such as urinary infections.  This is the number one reason for an ‘accident’.

2.         Children – If there is a newborn in the house or if the older children are suddenly louder this could throw your puppy off. An accident might also be a cry for attention.

3.         Unfamiliar sounds – If construction has started outside your house or there are new neighbors in the area that are really loud, this can contribute to the problem.  And, of course, moving is a huge stress on an older puppy.

4.         Feeding and Water – Make sure that you don’t change the puppy’s water amount and/or feeding schedule.

5.         Finished Crate Training – If you finished crate training and you’ve only recently started leaving your puppy out of the crate, this can cause confusion.

Obviously, the easiest way to stop the accidents is to figure out what change in the environment has occurred and try to fix it (if possible).

Working on housetraining with an older puppy is different than a young one. For one thing, it’s likely that you no longer pick him up to rush outside if he lifts his leg.  Also, it’s more likely that he’ll have an accident when you’re gone.

To retrain an older puppy, below are five recommends.

1. Establish a routine.

2. Praise your puppy when he eliminates outdoors.  Positive reinforcement always works.

3. Make sure that the ‘bathroom’ spot is just outside the front or back door.

4. Use the same ‘bathroom’ spot every time you go out.  Consistency!

5. Use a command such as ‘Go potty here!’ every time your puppy starts to go.

I hope these tips help.  And, remember, that an occasional accident up to a year-and-half is completely normal.  If you are consistent with your praise and commands, your dog will be ‘accident’ free in no time!


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